Little League Lives to Play Another Year
Deerfield Beach’s Little League season doesn’t start until March but, half way through registration this week, President Kathleen Williams was confident about the upcoming season.
“We usually get 300 [players],” she said confidently. “I’m not even scared.”
Naysayers predicted Little League participation would take the collar this year. They said newly required $35 background checks for adults working with children was too much to expect of volunteer coaches. They predicted that shifting the program from Deerfield Beach Middle School to Westside Park would discourage participation.
But the move to Westside Park has been delayed. The city split the cost of the background checks with Little League organizers, and the 66 adults who volunteered to be screened have left Williams optimistic.
“Last year we had 22 teams and there is a manager and two coaches on each team,” Williams explained.
Two years ago, organizers had so many teams they were casting about for a place to play. Initially, they were bused to Pompano Beach. Last year, they practiced at Pioneer Park on weekends and were bused to adjacent fields in Coconut Creek and North Springs.
And there was one other change, as well.
“Soccer went to Westside. They did not have a good following with it and that’s a shame,” she said. “(But) at the middle school, the fields are gorgeous! They are getting a chance to rest.”
As for all that trash talk about how new requirments for expensive background checks and a shift from Deerfield Beach Middle School to Westside Park would thin the ranks? There hasn’t been a single indication that the naysayers were right.
Early registration in November drew 90 kids with a $25 discount to sign up early. Registration was $125 when it re-opened on January 7 and Williams said she expects 200 more kids to sign on – from all parts of the city.
“The more we do utilize that park, the better that area will become,” she said.